When the futurologist Faith Popcorn coined the term ‘cocooning’ in 1981, she understood it as the individual’s retreat into a private space from an external world that is perceived as stressful. Today, similar retreat tendencies can also be observed in modern office worlds’ open spaces. As favourable as fostered communication in an open-plan office might be for teamwork – it also has a high price tag: it leads to overstimulation and thus influences the productivity of the individual. After all, who does not get distracted by constant phone calls and conversations in the background and – whether we intend to or not – inevitably listen to them with one ear? In such moments, probably everyone wishes one thing: to curl up into a ball to be able to work in peace.
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